New in our Articles section (see menu bar above):
Boyd’s Real OODA Loop. I’ve been working on this thing for about a year now, and I think it finally meets the definition of a masterpiece: not finished, just abandoned. The original purpose was to point out that the most popular version of the OODA loop–observe, then orient, then decide, then act–is not wrong but is incomplete. It is, in fact, a subset of the complete “loop” that Boyd drew in “The Essence of Winning and Losing” (also available in Articles) that accounts for the generation of novelty and is a key mechanism in keeping the orientation process humming along smoothly. It is not, however, particularly useful for initiating actions in the heat of battle.
If We Can Keep It. The folks at the Center for Defense Information have kindly assented to my posting the pdf of IWCKI. Published in January 2008, it was the latest in the trilogy that began with A Swift, Elusive Sword. I tried to push the envelope with this one, but I’m afraid that time has pulled it into the mainstream (see, for example, “The Top 10 Lessons of the Iraq War,” by Stephen M. Walt in Foreign Policy). I mean, even Newt is saying things like “We need to understand that our being in the middle of countries like Afghanistan is probably counterproductive.”